Improve your iPhone's bedside manner with this quick Do Not Disturb tip

Improve your iPhone's bedside manner with this quick Do Not Disturb tip

Two weeks ago I wrote a ranty editorial on iMore in regards to the areas where I personally find the iPhone's features are lacking while I'm in bed catching zzzzz's. If you missed it, it's worth reading. It got a huge response and sparked an amazing community discussion. And I'm extremely glad I wrote post, as in the comments a suggestion was given by an iMore member that's proven to be a great band-aid fix for my biggest pet peeve.

What Was Driving Me Nuts

Here's the quick recap:

I really feel there should be an option for me to enable, that allows Do Not Disturb to be turned on and off automatically when I plug in the phone to charge at night.

Within Settings > Do Not Disturb, you *can* set the Schedule for DND to turn on and off automatically. However, unless you go to bed and wake up in the morning at the exact same time every single day —weekends included — you're not going to use it. It's far too time consuming to do this every night.

So instead of using this setting, I simply turn on DND and turn it off manually. I swipe up from the bottom of the phone to bring up Control Center, at which point I tap the moon icon and DND turns on. Hopefully, in the morning, once I wake up, I remember to then turn DND off. It's habit now, but for many weeks I would forget to turn DND off and go half the day before realizing it, missing all the beeps, buzzes, and other alerts just when I need them the most.

What should happen is this: On Settings > Do Not Disturb, there needs to be an option that I can enable that allows me to enter Do Not Disturb mode automatically while the phone is charging. As an extra layer of control, this is where the hours schedule would be handy. I could set it from 10:30pm to 8am. In other words, if I plug my phone into a charger between those hours, it's almost 100% likely that I'm in bed. However, if it's 11:30pm and my phone is still not on the charger, that means I'm awake and don't want DND turning on automatically.

While there was a lot of agreement with my peeve and I do think there is much room to improve this feature in a future iOS update, the following solution has worked well.

The Band-Aid Solution

Here's the solution that iMore member Ewan Logan suggested:

There is a simple work-around for your do not disturb woes:

1. Set automatic DND from some time when you will definitely be asleep, (e.g. 2am) until when you will be awake (e.g. 8am).

2. When you actually go to sleep (e.g. 11pm), manually turn on Do Not Disturb.

3. Do Not Disturb will autmatically turn off at 8am as configured.

Not perfect, but at least you don't have to remember to turn it off in the morning.

Following Ewan's advice, I set my Do Not Disturb schedule from 1:00am to 5:45am. During the week, my alarm clock is set to go off at 5:45am. My biggest issue before was that when I manually turned on DND, I'd often forget to turn it off. This takes care of that.

As for going to sleep, I'm typically (during the week) in bed before 1:00am. And when I'm going to bed I don't forget to turn on DND, as it's part of my routine. Plug in phone to charge, swipe up on control center and tap the moon icon. And in the case I do forget to turn on DND, it will automatically kick in at 1am so the most important hours of my sleeping period go without disturbance.

That's all there is to it. Props to Ewan for the suggestion. That said, I still want Apple to fix their stuff.

 

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Kevin Michaluk

Kevin Michaluk is Chief Media Officer of Mobile Nations and soon-to-be owner of a gold Apple Edition watch!

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Reader comments

Improve your iPhone's bedside manner with this quick Do Not Disturb tip

18 Comments

If I had a hammer I would hammer in the evening. . . If I had an iPhone I would use this tip. But I don't I have a Z10 :) thanks Kevin I will pass link to my iPhone living sisters

Lol. Spread the word. I have a Z10. An iPhone 5s. A 5c too. A Q10. A Z30. An S4. A P'9982.... I could go on :)

Managed to get up a post today across every Mobile Nations site! :)

Your original article actually convinced me to use DND, even with its minor annoyances. This is a great extra tip. Although the best line is when you say the original article is worth the read. That's some great self-promotion! Nice work all around!

Sent from the iMore App

Still don't think it's THAT hard to remember to turn it back off in the morning. It's also part of my wake up routine. Also, looking at the battery % you can't help but notice the moon icon.

Sent from the iMore App

Pay on the back for Ewan Logan!
Apple is usually brilliant - it always makes me wonder why they don't love us as much in return because we know they considered this.
I'm still w/you on this Kevin and Band Aid solutions do not a problem fix.
... I also believe that Apple has always been aware of how we want to manage the space gobbling cached data in the Documents & Data of bloating apps, but Apple prefers to laugh instead.

Sent from the iMore App

The Band-Aid solution would week perfectly during the weekdays. Any idea about what to do during the weekends where I don't want my phone to buzz, ring, or make any noise before I wake up (usually around 8:30am)? If I set up the scheduled Do Not Disturb to end at 5:45am (as you stated in your solution), then it will end the Do Not Disturb mode way too early on weekend days. I still think the BB solution of keeping activated the Sleeping mode while charging the phone is the best approach since we all charge our phones while sleeping.

I read your article(s) on this topic with a grin. One of the first things I looked for when I switched from a Droid to an iPhone a few years back was a "Silence scheduler". It was a great app on Android that you could set up windows of time when it would automatically put the phone on vibrate or silent. Weekly staff meetings, church, dinner, sleep during the week, different sleep time on the weekend, etc. I've gotten used to no widgets on the screen, not having to pull the battery to reboot periodically, etc, but I do miss that app. I also had another similar app would automatically bring it out of vibrate when a specified time lapsed. Basically similar to the first app, but not for regularly scheduled times to solve forgetting to take it off vibrate.

I was told when I first posted here back then that there were no APIs on iPhone to create that sort of functionality so I'm hoping they flesh out the DND feature a fair amount. Apparently, it does have some other things hiding under the covers for those who remember the problem with DND on the last week of the year when it basically didn't work for a week since it was the 53rd week. It must have some sort of calendar in there for some reason.

I had a profile scheduling app on my Palm Treo a decade ago. The fact that I have to manually switch things on and off on my iphone still pisses me off 6 years later. Like markm mentioned, I shouldn't have to tell it I go to church on Sunday and it needs to vibrate, or to turn on bluetooth when I'm in my commute window, or to turn down the ringer during business hours. I used to jailbreak to get this functionality, but that's a beating of a different kind. Grrr.

My schedule is mostly regular so I don't have the problem as explained in the first article. I really like the DND feature except for one thing. It does not allow certain app notifications to bypass the DND. This can be a real problem during tornado season when I want my weather app to immediately alert me to bad weather no matter what time it is. Hopefully this will be a new feature sometime soon.

AutoSilent by Niv Gutherz is a possible solution. I used to use it, but find DND meets most of my needs.

I think Apple might consider something like holding down the DND button for 1/2 a second and up will pop a "Disable for how long?" dial control. Simple. Discoverable. Useful. And it could be applied to other functions.

This is something that has to be easy to explain to somebody who doesn't know much about computers. I use the grandmother rule. Can you explain it to her? It's frustrating to power users, but that's not the majority of Apple customers. If it were, Microsoft's Pocket PC would have taken over the market.

Would be a great feature, but until that day arrives I will stick to ear plugs!
Still don't think it's THAT hard to remember to turn it back off in the morning. It's also part of my wake up routine. Also, looking at the battery % you can't help but notice the moon icon.

Sent from the iMore App